India's Sindhu, Praneeth enter World Championships semifinals
Basel - Sindhu's bid for a third straight final at BWF World Championships is alive
India's PV Sindhu stunned world number 2 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei 12-21, 23-21, 21-19 to storm into the semifinals of the BWF World Championships in a rip-roaring quarterfinal clash on Friday.
The ace Indian shuttler came back from losing the first game in 15 minutes to clinch the second one 23-21 in thrilling fashion and then wrest advantage from her old nemesis to win 21-19 and make it two wins in a row against the same opponent.
Meanwhile, Sai Praneeth on Friday ended India's 36-year wait for a medal in the men's section of the BWF World Championships by sealing his place in the semifinals.
After Prakash Padukone clinched a bronze at the Worlds in 1983, Praneeth quenched India's thirst for an elusive medal by stunning world No. 4 Jonatan Christie of Indonesia 24-22, 21-14 in the quarterfinal.
Sindhu's bid for a third straight final at BWF World Championships is thus alive.
Tai Tzu has a superior record against her, but Sindhu won in their last meeting in 2018.
Tai Tzu, who last year claimed the nation's first-ever badminton gold at the Asian Games, opened up a seven-point lead and from then on peppered the Olympic silver medallist with back-to-back smashes.
A brilliant rally saw the Taiwanese maintain her dominance and win the first game 21-12 as Sindhu had no answer to her returns.
The Indian started strongly in the second game, winning her first point with a strong smash.
Tai Tzu fought back to take a 5-3 lead before Sindhu levelled the score at 8-8 and took a 11-9 advantage at the break.
The rallies were long and Sindhu even fell to the floor while attempting to return a sharp Tai Tzu shot.
Meanwhile, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal crashed out of the World Championships after suffering a three-game loss (21-15 25-27 12-21 )to Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark in the pre-quarterfinals on Thursday.